Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry Thesis-Project
Abstract: The purpose of this thesis project was to study how the Spanish Eastern District of the Assemblies of God, which is a Pentecostal denomination, is providing for the spiritual development of new converts. The Spanish Eastern District is the largest Hispanic district of the fourteen Spanish-language districts of our denomination, with approximately 478 churches in sixteen states on the east coast of North America. The data compiled in this research is significant because it brings clarity to how our congregants are being developed spiritually and is most likely indicative of the discipleship practices in the churches of the other thirteen Spanish Districts. This claim is based on the uniformity and consistency of Hispanic culture that is intertwined in our ecclesiology.
In order to study the discipleship practices in our district, a survey was conducted of seventy-two churches during the annual Pastors’ and Leaders’ Summit in October 2016; the results indicated several strengths and weaknesses within our present discipleship system that are addressed in the project.
After compiling and analyzing the data, the researcher presented three different discipleship programs that responded to the weaknesses revealed by the study; any one of these programs can be implemented to strengthen our churches. The third discipleship system includes the basic principles and structure of a program that the researcher will begin to develop after he has successfully accomplished all the prerequisites required in order to complete the Doctor of Ministry program.